Ever had the feeling that the place you are renting or live-in lacks your signature touch or that there is something missing? This calls for an intervention and which may at times may mean that you have a little DIY project on your hands.
Hiring a carpenter to do repairs around the house or even an interior decorator is a costly affair and while it may drain your pocket, it is also a tiring experience when the outcome is not what you had pictured it to be.
Do it Yourself or DIY projects is believed to have first originated in the 6th century. Italian archaeologists discovered temple ruins in the Southern part of country which had instructions written into the walls showing how to carry out decoration work. From then, man have been known to build, modify or repair things without the direct assistance from the experts.
In Fiji, whilst the country relies on major retail outlets such as Courts Homecentre, Subrails Furniture, Carpenters Fiji Ltd or even Vinod Patel’s Home and Living, the onset of technology has seen many referring to Pinterest or even youtube for ideas and ways to do things such as, creating furniture out of pallets, exterior designing, rooftop gardening, even using your limited space to turning it into a colourful relaxing area and the list goes on and on. Whilst there is a lot of ideas and DIY videos online or even you can come up with ideas, the main aim of undertaking these projects is for you to be satisfied.
We will be looking at places around Fiji’s tourist hot spot - Nadi Town to see where you can get the best deals, where to shop and what not to do. This article will focus more attention on getting your dream room/garden or even decoration at a cost which leaves you happy.
Home to Fiji’s International Airport, Nadi has become the gateway to the rest of Fiji. Tis multicultural town offers visitors and expats a chance to experience Fiji’s diverse background.
Nadi is Fiji’s third largest town with a population of over 200, 000 people and has a mixture of cultures which is evident in the various variety shops, eateries and spas. This background also allows for a wide choice of shops for one to go window shopping and also look for bargains in.
Where to get the best deals in Nadi
The Western Division is known as the thrift shop capital of Fiji. In other towns and cities, it is hard to find a recycled clothes & goods store sell clothes or as it is commonly known abroad as Thrift shops for as low as $1 each or even $2 a plastic bag however that is a usual occurrence in Nadi. Store chains like Value City, Bargain Box, Chands clothing and even Paddy’s have outlets in Nadi. This is where we will be able to find bargains from bric-o-brac to settees, flower vases, clothes and even bed linen and curtains.
A venture into one of these thrift shops can see one walk out with many trinkets or even handy items for your own use. Tilly once bagged a set of stone coated pots, 5 tupperware containers and on another day she brought home her very first sewing machine which got bought at a bargain of $20. While not knowing much about sewing, this machine helped in designing dresses, decking the house out in new curtains, cushion covers and the list goes on.
The town also has an American goods outlet called Best Buys which is similar to KMart and offers customers a chance to buy overseas and imported goods at a discounted cost. This is where you will be able to bag some good decoration items.
If you are looking at creating your own little garden or backyard paradise, a good place to start is at Garden & Water. Whilst an outlet has yet to open in Nadi, its sister company R C Manubhai is based in Namaka and has a wide range of items from paint to timber and even hardware items. You will be able to see what Garden & water sells and then order it from the Hardware company.
For materials, there are shops like Motiram Limited, Paddys Variety, Argo Garments and many smaller variety shops where Bula material is abundant. You will also be able to go through the various shops and may even stumble upon a unique pattern which you have been on the look-out for years. Another shop which sells very high end material if you are looking at designing your dream dress is Pacific Islands Arts or PIA which sells Tahitian materials.
For gardening and even floral arrangements or decorations, it is a good opportunity Tadra Flowers as well as the local municipal market which has a lot of flowers and pot plants on sale.
There are also forums on social media which also is a great places to check out. On famous social site, Facebook there are pages created such as ‘Buying & Selling in Nadi’ as well as a ‘Nadi Expat market.’
Some Dos & Don’ts
Before you head out to town, always remember to do your research. A blogger once posted that she mistakenly painted her living room walls with varnish as she did not know the difference in paint types. Always research, budget and then go shopping.
The most important thing you should remember is that you are in Fiji and running on Fiji Time and therefore be ready to say “Bula” over and over again. Fijians are very friendly people who will not hesitate to greet and even farewell new faces. There may even be times when they will call out to you to share a meal with them by saying - “Mai Kana”. This is part of our welcoming you while you are going around town.
When in town, it is always good to remember a few things:
When on the look out for bargains and the best materials, always remember not to divulge that you are new to the place. Always act like a professional. This is to ensure that when you bargain, you get the best price. At times, the employee you are bargaining with may not respond to your request for a special however do not be discouraged or offended. At times, it is company policy not to reduce prices however, if you are nice to them, they may show you pieces that they have not put up on the shelves yet due to their busy schedule.
When out bargain hunting at thrift shops, it is always advisable to take cash with you. Not many 2nd hand shops in Nadi have eftpos or accept cards.
If you have ear marked a product in a thrift shop and the price is not within your budget, come back to the store again in a week or two to check if it is still there and hasn’t been sold. If it is still around, that is a good time to ask for a special and the manager will be more than willing to accept your proposition.
A big No-No are street hawkers. While they may seem cheap to you, it is always good to look into the smaller variety shops and thrift shops in town. At times, street hawkers will be really persuasive however you need to be firm or even bargain and get a lower price.
Fiji has a wide network of public transportation. The bus services in the country all have the eTicketting system. This is where every commuter has to have a bus card - yellow or purple for students and the elderly while red is for the rest of the population. This card is rechargeable with a minimum of $2. However, if you do not have any card on hand, do not worry as bus drivers have disposable cards from $2 - $25 on hand which expires within a certain period.
Apart from this, taxi services also run with few stations based along the main road such as Ruwailevu Taxis and Taxi 2000.
So get your shoes ready, your wallet and bag before hitting the shops in town.